The GOHSEP “Get a Game Plan” initiative is emphasized in the months before and after Hurricane Season to increase the preparedness of each family to respond to the potential impacts of a hurricane. The initiative recommends families create emergency kits to be prepared at all times to evacuate an area that may be impacted, protect their valuables, and stay informed at all times. The overall goal is to create a general state of preparedness throughout the state, not only with government agencies.
Ultimately GOHSEP handles all media relations during an emergency. The State Emergency Operations Center will release statements and generally announcements made by the Governor are made during press conferences held at the GOHSEP facility. Through the official website for disasters, www.emergency.louisiana.gov, GOHSEP will release information as it arises. The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Public Communications, as part of the Louisiana Fuel Team, works in concert with GOHSEP to develop press releases for the public prior to, during, and after an emergency situation.
Through the Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center web portal, www.labeoc.org, information is posted on the News Alerts pages that are deemed to be relevant and critical to business in Louisiana. Registered businesses are able to sign up to receive notification as information is posted. News alerts posted to labeoc.org can pertain to, but are not limited to evacuation and re-entry information, power outages, and situational reports released by GOHSEP. All posts made to the news alerts page will originate from the Joint Information Center of GOHSEP to ensure that messages with contradictory messages are not released to the public.
As outlined in the Revised Emergency Support Function (ESF) 12 Energy and Utilities Annex (Appendix A), the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is responsible for the coordination of industry assets and expertise with the State’s communication and command capabilities to gain greater efficiency and expedite evacuations and recovery.
Figure 11: Fuel Demand Estimation Model
The Fuel Team Coordinator will compile and report information on the anticipated fuel demand should the anticipated emergency event require public evacuation, assisted by the Fuel Demand Estimation Model, illustrated in Figure 11. Sociologists at the NIMSAT Institute surveyed thousands of residents along Louisiana’s 12 coastal parishes on their past actions and stated preferences in order to model human behaviors during evacuations, especially during back-to-back hurricanes and other such complex events. The resulting “Evacuee Behavioral Model”, provides an understanding of the origin and preferred destinations of evacuating populations, and the timing of evacuations, based on a set of pre-defined storm scenarios. Computational scientists, working in concert with transportation engineers, translated these behaviors into predictive models of evacuation traffic based on a “Transportation Network Model” for the specific purpose of quantifying the surge in fuel demand along the evacuation network, to help public and private sector officials in evacuation and fuel supply chain capacity planning. The team’s supply chain researchers worked with the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association and the Louisiana Oil Marketers and Convenience Store Association in mapping the capacities, throughputs, replenishment rates, and surge capacities of the production and distribution networks within the region’s fuel supply chain network. The resulting “Fuel Demand Estimation Model” incorporates our understanding of the supply of fuel within the region, and provides outputs on the amount of fuel needed to support a large scale evacuation in response to a hurricane-type disaster scenario.